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Image of the Month


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19-03-01 BLOG Image of the Month

FILMSFEBRUARY 2019


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(Kagan 1974) Judge Dee and the Monastery Mur­ders
(Malle 1971) Mur­mur of the Heart [Le souf­fle au coeur]
(McNaughton 1973) Monty Python’s Fly­ing Cir­cus: Ep.37 ― Den­nis Moore
(McNaughton 1973) Monty Python’s Fly­ing Cir­cus: Ep.38 ― A Book at Bed­time
(Ware­ing 1988) Doc­tor Who: Ep.678 ― The Great­est Show in the Galaxy, Part 1
(Ware­ing 1988) Doc­tor Who: Ep.679 ― The Great­est Show in the Galaxy, Part 2
(Ritt 1963) Hud
(Ware­ing 1988) Doc­tor Who: Ep.680 ― The Great­est Show in the Galaxy, Part 3
(Ware­ing 1989) Doc­tor Who: Ep.681 ― The Great­est Show in the Galaxy, Part 4
(Seltzer 1986) Lucas
(Guð­munds­son 2014) Ártún
(Sil­ber­ling 2004) Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfor­tu­nate Events
(Lourié 1953) The Beast from 20,000 Fath­oms
(Elston 2013) The Other Pom­peii: Life & Death in Her­cu­la­neum
(Mar­cus 2007) Roman Mys­ter­ies: Ep.3 ― The Pirates of Pom­peii, Part 1
(Hitch­cock 1936) Sab­o­tage
(Liu & Li 2008) Jus­tice Bao [包青天; Bāo Qīng Tiān]: Ep.1 ― Beat­ing the Dragon Robe
Read more »

First-time listening for February 2019


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30088. (Nic­colò Paganini) Sonata #2 in D for Vio­lin & Gui­tar “Cen­tone di Sonate”, Op.64a
. . . . . MS112 #2
30089. (Nic­colò Paganini) Grande Sonata for Vio­lin & Gui­tar in A, Op.39 MS3
30090. (Nic­colò Paganini) Sonata Con­cer­tata for Gui­tar & Vio­lin in A, Op.61 MS2
30091. (Nic­colò Paganini) Cantabile in D for Vio­lin and Gui­tar, Op.17 MS109
30092. (Waka Flocka Flame) Big Homie Flocka
30093. (Wreck­less Eric) The Won­der­ful World of Wreck­less Eric
30094. (Avril Lav­i­gne) Let Go
30095. (Guil­laume Dufay) Ave Maris Stella
30096. (Guil­laume Dufay) Ave Regina Coelo­rum à 4
30097. (Gruff Rhys) Babels­burg
30098. (Demi Lovato) Don’t For­get
30099. (John Gay & Johann Pepusch) The Beggar’s Opera [com­plete opera; d. Sar­gent;
. . . . . Cameron, Mori­son, Sin­clair]
Read more »

READINGFEBRUARY 2019


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27625. (Alberto Ren­zulli et al) Pan­tel­le­ria Island as a Cen­tre of Pro­duc­tion for the Archaic
. . . . . Phoeni­cian Trade in Basaltic Mill­stones [arti­cle]
27626. (Kenan Işik & Rifat Kuvanç) A New Part of Horse Trap­ping Belong­ing to Urart­ian King
. . . . . Minua from Adana Archae­ol­ogy Museim and on Urišḫi-Urišḫusi-Ururda Words in
. . . . . Urart­ian [arti­cle]
27627. (Frida Beck­man) Gilles Deleuze
27628. (Gina L. Barnes) China, Korea and Japan ― The Rise of Civ­i­liza­tion in East Asia
27629. (John T. Toth) For­ma­tion of the Indo-European Branches in the Light of the
. . . . . Archaeo­ge­netic Rev­o­lu­tion [arti­cle]
27630. (Nuwan Abey­war­dana et al) Indige­nous Agri­cul­tural Sys­tems in the Dry Zone of Sri
. . . . . Lanka: Man­age­ment Trans­for­ma­tion Assess­ment and Sus­tain­abil­ity [arti­cle]
27631. (William S. Ayres) Review of Rapanui: Tra­di­tion and Sur­vival on Easter Island by
. . . . . Grant McCall [review]

Read more »

Two Wild Spirits: Heinrich and Ives


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19-02-26 MUS Ives

Charles Ives

Anthony Heinrich

Anthony Hein­rich

Those of us who admire a wild and irrev­er­ent spirit in music have long looked to Charles Ives (1874–1954) as our patron saint. With his mul­ti­met­ric chaos, his noisy brass bands, cheer­ful mix­ing of pop­u­lar and clas­si­cal themes, his tem­po­ral dys­syn­chronies and his star­tling flights into the infi­nite, he ful­filled every require­ment for an eccen­tric genius ahead of his time. And he was pro­foundly, quin­tes­sen­tially Amer­i­can. But he was lit­tle known in his life­time. The bulk of his com­po­si­tions were writ­ten then tucked away, unper­formed, in a New Eng­land barn while he pur­sued a more suc­cess­ful career as an insur­ance sales­man. He also pub­lished pam­phlets advo­cat­ing what we would now call “direct democ­racy” and got into a heated argu­ment with a young Franklin Roo­sevelt over his idea of pro­mot­ing gov­ern­ment bonds cheap enough for the ordi­nary cit­i­zen. But it was not until the 1960’s that his works were fre­quently played, and his name became famil­iar to clas­si­cal musi­cians and lis­ten­ers. Much of this change came about through the ardent advo­cacy of con­duc­tor Leonard Bern­stein. It is pos­si­ble to lis­ten to a per­for­mance of Ives’ Sym­phony #4 today and expe­ri­ence it as “mod­ern, avant-garde music” even though it was com­posed in the 1910s! (It wasn’t per­formed until 1965).

But fas­ci­nat­ing as Ives is, he is not alone in the story of Amer­i­can music. Another com­poser, liv­ing a full cen­tury before him, shared many of Ives’ char­ac­ter­is­tics. Like Ives, he was self-taught, eccen­tric, exper­i­men­tal and ahead of his time. Like Ives, he wore his patri­o­tism on his sleeve, loved loud noises and order dis­guised as chaos, and was drawn to tran­scen­den­tal themes. He died 13 years before Ives was born, and Ives prob­a­bly never heard of him. Unlike Ives, how­ever, he has found no high-profile cham­pion. His works are played only occa­sion­ally and few peo­ple have heard them.

The man in ques­tion was Anthony Philip Hein­rich. He was born in 1781, in the north­ern­most vil­lage of Bohemia, in what was then a pre­dom­i­nantly German-speaking part of that land. Like Ives, he pur­sued a suc­cess­ful career as a busi­ness­man, rel­e­gat­ing music to a hobby. But the Napoleonic wars ruined him, and he found him­self pen­ni­less in Boston in 1810. He plunged into a new life enthu­si­as­ti­cally, deter­mined to be a wan­der­ing musi­cian on the open­ing fron­tier. He trav­eled mostly on foot, liv­ing rough, through Penn­syl­va­nia, Ohio and Ken­tucky. This expe­ri­ence instilled in him a pro­found love of nature and an ide­al­is­tic patri­o­tism for his adopted coun­try. Finally he set­tled in a log cabin in Ken­tucky and began to com­pose. Amer­ica as yet had no real sym­phony orches­tras and few trained musi­cians. His larger com­po­si­tions could only be played in Europe. Even­tu­ally, he par­tic­i­pated in found­ing the New York Phil­har­monic, and achieved some pub­lic suc­cess, but this quickly faded, and he died, reduced again to poverty, in 1861.

His music not only drew on Amer­i­can folk music and on the melodies and rhythms of Native Amer­i­cans [Comanche Revel; Man­i­tou Mys­ter­ies; The Cherokee’s Lament; Sioux Gal­liarde], but it was sat­u­rated with the sig­na­ture ele­ment of Amer­i­can music: impro­vi­sa­tion. Musi­col­o­gists would no doubt clas­sify him as his century’s most con­sis­tent prac­ti­tioner of musi­cal inde­ter­mi­nacy. Bird song filled his music, which often sported spec­tac­u­larly grand ornitho­log­i­cal titles: The Columbiad, or Migra­tion of Amer­i­can Wild Pas­sen­ger Pigeons and The Ornitho­log­i­cal Com­bat of Kings. Per­haps the piece that sums him up is the vocal/orchestral suite, The Dawn­ing of Music in Ken­tucky, or, the Plea­sures of Har­mony in the Soli­tudes of Nature. Noth­ing he com­posed fol­lowed the musi­cal con­ven­tions of Europe. Alto­gether, I’ve heard 18 of his works, and all of them gave me plea­sure, while some of them seemed to me both rad­i­cal and pro­found. In other words, the qual­i­ties that drew me to Ives were present in Hein­rich a cen­tury before.

It’s impor­tant, in this dark time for Amer­ica, to remem­ber that the nation that has sunk to the level of elect­ing a scur­rilous con-man, crim­i­nal and trai­tor to its high­est office has in the past, over and over again, nur­tured cre­ative men and women imbued with the spirit of lib­erty, and will no doubt do so again. At this moment, I’m lis­ten­ing nei­ther to Ives nor Hein­rich, but to a country-rock album from 1968, The Wichita Train Whis­tle Sings. It’s by Mike Nesmith, remem­bered mostly as being one of television’s Mon­kees, but actu­ally a man of var­ied tal­ents. You can hear many ele­ments of Hein­rich and Ives bub­bling through this almost, but not quite for­got­ten album. And they are bub­bling in many works by singers, com­posers, garage bands, rap­pers, and elec­tronic artists today. To use another Mike Nesmith album title: And the Hits Just Keep On Comin’.

Image of the Month


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19-02-01 BLOG Image of the month

FILMSJANUARY 2019


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(Melville 1950) Les Enfants Ter­ri­bles
(Arkush 1979) Rock’n’Roll High School
(Cross­land 2011) Mur­doch Mys­ter­ies: Ep.41 ― Kom­mando
(Dante 1984) Grem­lins
(Trelfer 2016) Dark Cor­ners Review: (54) Grem­lins: The Great­est Christ­mas Hor­ror Film
. . . Ret­ro­spec­tive
(Dante 2011) Joe Dante Intro­duces Grem­lins for the Ciné Nasty Series
(Sawall 2010) Etr­uscans: Glory Before Rome
(Hough 1978) Return from Witch Moun­tain
(Grin­ter & Hawkes 1972) Blood Freak
(Trelfer 2018) Dark Cor­ners Review: (332) Blood Freak
(Copp 2010) Inside the Milky Way
(Man­cori & Mann 1964) Son of Her­cules in the Land of Dark­ness [Riff­Trax ver­sion]
(Wise 1951) The Day the Earth Stood Still
Read more »

First-time listening for January 2019


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30001. (Johannes Ock­eghem) Requiem [Missa pro defunc­tis]
30002. (Paul Oak­en­fold) A Lively Mind
30003. (Richard Strauss) Salome, Op.54 [com­plete opera; d. Sinop­oli; Studer, Ter­fel,
. . . . . Hiester­mann]
30004. (Jon Hop­kins) Sin­gu­lar­ity
30005. (Aztec Cam­era) Walk Out to Win­ter: The Best of Aztec Cam­era
30006. (Arthur Sul­li­van [w. W. S. Gilbert]) H. M. S. Pinafore [com­plete opera; D’Oyly Carte]
30007. (Seun Kuti & The Egyp­tians) A Long Way To the Begin­ning
30008. (Albin Lee Mel­dau) About You
30009. (Takashi Yoshi­matsu) Piano Con­certo Memo Flora for Piano and Orches­tra
30010. (Hank Bal­lard & The Mid­nighters) Their Great­est Juke­box Hits
30011. (Earth, Wind & Fire) Earth, Wind & Fire
30012. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­tata #91 “Gelo­bet seist du, Jesu Christ”, bwv.91
30013. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­tata #92 “Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn”, bwv.92
30014. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­tata #93 “Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt wal­ten”, bwv.93
30015. (Alva Noto) Live in Copen­hagen
30016. (Jimi Hen­drix) Elec­tric Lady­land
Read more »

READINGJANUARY 2019


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27611. (Bruno Ernst) The Magic Mir­ror of M. C. Escher
27612. (Ľubomír Novák) Yagh­nobi: An Exam­ple of a Lan­guage in Con­tact [arti­cle]
27613. (Bas­ti­aan Star et al) Ancient DNA Reveals the Arc­tic Ori­gin of Vikin Age Cod from
. . . . . Haithabu, Ger­many [arti­cle]
27614. (Bob Wood­ward) Fear ― Trump in the White House
27615. (Olivier Pute­lat et al) Une chasse aris­to­cra­tique dans le ried centre-Alsace au pre­mie
. . . . . moyen âge [arti­cle]
27616. (Phil R. Bell & Philip J. Cur­rie) A Tyran­nosaur Jaw Bit­ten by a Con­fa­mil­ial: Scav­eng­ing
. . . . . or Fatal Ago­nism? [arti­cle]
27617. (Ian Hod­der) Where Are We Going? The Evo­lu­tion of Humans and Things
27618. (Rebecca Miles –ed.) Eye­wit­ness Travel: Canada
27619. (Steven A. Rosen) Cult and the Rise of Desert Pas­toral­ism: A Case Study from the
. . . . . Negev [arti­cle]
27620. (Justin Son­nen­burg & Erica Son­nin­burg) The Good Gut
27621. (Kevin Sachs) Does Chris­ten­dom Explain Europe? [arti­cle]
27622. (John D. Rock­e­feller) Ran­dom Rem­i­nis­cences of Men and Events
27622. (Or Rosen­boim) Bar­bara Woot­ton, Friedrich Hayek and the Debate on Demo­c­ra­tic
. . . . . Fed­er­al­ism in the 1940s [arti­cle]
27623. (Jack Elliott) Hiver­nant Métis Fam­i­lies, Brigades and Set­tle­ments in the Cypress Hills
. . . . . [arti­cle]
27624. (S. B. Kli­menko & M. V. Stanyukovich) Yat­tuka and Tuwali Ifu­gao Hud­hud: Yat­tuka,
. . . . . Keley-1, and Tuwali Ifu­gao Inter­fer­ence [article]

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 — Toronto with Frosting


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19-01-30 BLOG pic1Attache ta tuque! Toronto doesn’t usu­ally get much snow, com­pared to most of the rest of the coun­try. Mon­treal­ers laugh at our lame, half-hearted win­ters. It’s posi­tion on the west end of Lake Ontario, with a ridge of high­lands to its west, means that the pre­vail­ing west­er­lies usu­ally drop most of their snow before they reach the city. The clos­est Amer­i­can city, Buf­falo, posi­tioned at the east end of Lake Erie, gets much more snow. But every now and then a snow­storm will be big enough to dump a hefty load on Toronto. The evening it hit was a bit grim for Toron­to­ni­ans, many of whom immi­grated from warmer lands.

19-01-30 BLOG pic219-01-30 BLOG pic3

But look at the magic of the fol­low­ing sunny day:

19-01-30 BLOG pic5


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